Aug 8, 2023

Join us for an early evening tour of the Illinois Organic Systems Trial, affiliated projects, and the Organic Nursery.

Illinois organic field day August 31, 2023

August 3, 2023 from 4.00-7.00 PM

4202 S First Street Champaign IL

South of the Crop Sciences Research and Education Center at the corner of 1st and Deers Road.

We’d love your input on maximizing the value of our research.

Learn how roots and rotations can contribute to ecosystem services. We will look at the maize roots and corn hybrids, consider how crop rotations influence soils, soil organic matter and soil productivity.


  • Intros and Overview at 4.30 & 5.30 pm
  • Tour Organic Nursery at 5.00 & 6.00 pm
  • Research Reports on Roots, Rotations and Soil Services ongoing
  • Food and educational exchange ongoing
Aug 8, 2019
Poster presentation at the Illinois Corn Breeders School

CASH Students Mujjabi Christopher (pictured), Binod Ghimire, Ece Gulkirpik, Mario Nuñez (pictured), Marco Toc, and Gelda Bográn presented a poster ‘Participatory Breeding and Testing Networks: Variety Development and Selection for High Nitrogen-use Efficiency, Weed Pressure Tolerance and High Grain Quality for Organic Systems’ at the 55th Illinois Corn Breeders School held in Champaign Urbana March 4-5, 2019.

Apr 4, 2019

This webinar took place on April 10th, 2019. Click here to view the webinar!

About the Webinar

This webinar will explore how different breeding styles and methods can be used to develop corn varieties that meet the diverse needs of organically produced grain and perform well under a variety of growing conditions and farming practices. Martin Bohn, Maize geneticist at U of I, will discuss G.H. Shull’s approach to hybrid breeding and share how the University’s elite parent lines can efficiently be used to develop food-grade corn hybrids for organic markets. Walter Goldstein, Executive Director of the Mandaamin Institute, will explain how for over a decade, he has bred corn under organic conditions to develop high-methionine and nitrogen use efficient hybrids and populations for organic feed markets. Bill Davison, Extension Educator at the U of I, will explain how modern genetics and breeding techniques can be used to create productive open pollinated synthetic and composite populations that are capable of adapting to unpredictable environmental changes and novel stress factors. These populations are being improved annually using participatory breeding techniques where farmers and researchers are working together to select for improved agronomics and quality traits. The webinar will last about an hour, followed by 30 minutes for questions.

Nov 11, 2018
Learn how the plant breeding landscape has shifted over the past century and how intellectual property rights impact organic seed supply.

Learn how the plant breeding landscape has shifted over the past century and how intellectual property rights impact organic seed supply. Read the article at


Sep 9, 2018
  • September 13, 2018: Participatory Corn Breeding Project Field Day: The Mandaamin Institute has been breeding high yielding corn varieties that are nutrient dense, nitrogen efficient (fixing) and perform well in low-input organic farms. They are also adding cross incompatibility traits that limit contamination from genetically engineered corn pollen. The higher nutritional value of the corn (approx. 30% more methionine, 16% more protein) enables this corn to reduce the need for soybean meal and synthetic methionine in rations for poultry, This year, they are testing these and other hybrids together with organic farmers in Wisconsin, Illinois, and Iowa, and researchers at the University of Illinois. This is part of a larger-scope project called Corn and Soil Health (CASH) that is organizing a network of farmers, agronomists, private and public corn breeders to provide relevant information to members. Research is on hybrids, soil health, corn quality, and identification of potential markets. Some farmers participate by doing strip trials, and others are participating in an educational network. On September 13th (8:30 to 11:30 AM) they are hosting a field day in East Troy, Wisconsin, where they willl show you the strip trial planted by farmer Graham Asdit and his colleagues, and other yield trials. We will discuss our research with SARE grant funding and USDA on hybrids, nutritional quality, and nitrogen uptake. And we will introduce the CASH network. A special listening session afterwards will get your input on what kind of organic seed you need. This event will be combined with lunch at noon and viewing a small hybrid production field on the Rohrer Enterprises farm located in East Troy. If you are interested in attending, please contact the organizers in advance-more information and contact details can be found in this invitation
Aug 8, 2018

An article by Tom Doran in Agri-News reports on the July 2018 field day at Wyatt Muse's farm near Champaign, Illinois. Read the article here

Apr 4, 2018

AgriNews article by Tom Doran: October 26, 2017. Read the article

Apr 4, 2018

Oilseed and Grain News article by Lynda Kiernan from October 31, 2017. Read the article

Mar 3, 2018

The Participatory Breeding and Testing Network project was featured in an article in the ACES College of Agriculture, Consumer and Environmental Sciences College News. October 17, 2017. Read the article here.